Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lemon Baked Chicken

This is my favorite way to make chicken, especially when entertaining. It is pretty impressive, and it's really easy to make. This chicken would feed four people, but Phillip wanted chicken salad, so I made it for the two of us.

Let's gather our ingredients:

4-5 lb whole chicken
1 onion, peeled & quartered
2 lemons, one quartered and one sliced
1/2 stick butter
olive oil
salt & pepper

Let's prepare our bird.
You see those wings just flappin' around out there?
They would burn if they stayed like that.
Tuck the ends of the wings underneath the bird.
This may take some muscle.
See that turkey butt, doesn't it need something?
How about a whole lemon and a whole onion?
Just stuff 'em in there.
Now loosen the skin form the breast as far as you can.
This is where it gets messy.
Rub butter, oil, salt & pepper between the skin and breast
Place 4-6 lemon slices under the skin (they will be so yummy!).
Put more butter, oil, salt & pepper on the outside of the bird.
Bake at 425 for an hour and a half, or until the juices run clear.
So Yummy!
I made a pan gravy from the drippings,
and it added just the right touch.

Kona Inn Banana Bread

For some reason, I was craving banana bread this weekend. I did a search to find a good recipe, and I was very happy with what I found. This recipe is from the famous Kona Inn on the big island, and it didn't disappoint.

Kona Inn Banana Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
2 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 6 bananas)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350.

Grease and flour 2 8x4x3-inch loaf pans.

Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In another larger bowl, mix together the shortening, sugar, mashed bananas, eggs and walnuts. Add the combined dry ingredients and stir only until the batter is thoroughly blended.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer or straw inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on a rack and let cool completely.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Strawberry Pie Cupcakes & Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

Today is both my older brother and his beautiful fiance's birthday, so I made them each their own batch of cupcakes to celebrate!

My brother requested that his birthday cupcakes "taste like strawberry pie." My brother loves strawberry pie. So much so that I considered just making him strawberry pie so that he wouldn't be disappointed. I'm always up for a challenge, though, so I took on the beast and succeeded! For both kinds of cupcakes, I used a basic yellow cake recipe (advertised as "pie crust cupcakes," but just use yellow cake... box mix if you're short on time). I cut a large cone out of the cake, and filled it with chopped strawberries and glaze. I used my mom's recipe for strawberry pie glaze, which made the cupcakes taste awesome!

Marla's Strawberry Pie Glaze:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp white corn syrup
3 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp strawberry jello

Mix first four ingredients together and cook on medium until the mixture boils, thickens and turns opaque. Take off heat and add jello.

Let the glaze cool some before you fill the cupcakes, or all of the hot glaze will soak right into the cake. Top with whipped topping if your heart desires.

The beautiful future sister-in-law-to-be is a lemon fan, so I decided that these lemon meringue pie cupcakes would be so cute. I filled the base cupcake with lemon curd and topped with meringue.
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
In a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue whipping until egg whites hold stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.
Top cupcakes with meringue and brown under broiler (watch them... they brown fast!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cute Cupcakes!

I made these cupcakes while I was home at my parents' house this weekend for a family dinner. They are basic vanilla cake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing. The little flower on top is colored fondant with royal icing accents, so cute!